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Ostomy Memories of Nicknames


WHEN I WAS A LITTLE KID, my grandfather called me ‘Butch.’  I have no idea where that came from, though I suspect that it was simply his version of ‘Buddy.’  Lots of people have nicknames, and for lots of reasons.  It may be complimentary (Hotshot Harry Smith), or pejorative (Lazy Lucy Brown), or it may originate from some unique physical trait (Red McGuire, Pugnose Petrocelli).  A nickname may stem from a physical deformity (Scarface Capone, Four Fingers Avery).  Sometimes nicknames reflect a notable achievement or talent, although there is another name for that:  sobriquet (the Great Commoner, the Last of the Red Hot Mamas, the Voice, the Great Emancipator).  [How many of you can ID the persons to whom these four sobriquets belong?]  Sports figures often achieve nicknames through their abilities on the field (Elroy ‘Crazy Legs’ Hirsch, Slammin’ Sammy Snead).  The simplest, most common nicknames are derived from the given name:  Dick for Richard, Betty for Elizabeth, Peggy for Margaret, Jack for John.  Most people accept their nicknames with grace, but others don’t.  I once dated a girl who wanted to know if it was okay if she called me Hank.  “Hank sounds stronger,” she insisted, snuggling up to me in the car.  “I don’t like it,” was my terse response.  After she tried it again, I took her home and that was the end of it.   

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Hello HenryM.

It seems to me that certain sports attract more nicknames than others, with snooker and darts springing to mind.
My own experience was when my younger sister was born she would make a gurgling noise when she looked at me, so my brothers pronounced it as gig-gig, which very quickly mutated to 'Gig' as my nickname. However, this was only an 'inhouse' term. Whereas my nickname for many people eventually became 'Will'. This was not as a consequence of the pseudonym 'Bill Withers', which I had adopted for my writing, but because I was deemed to be WILLing to do or try almost anything (at least once). 
I am not sure if one's middle name would be classified as a 'nickname' but many families adopt the practice of calling their children by their middle names instead of their first names, which sometimes feels distinctly odd, when we are addressed as such by people in official positions who have acquired our names from official documentation.
Then, there was the phenomenon at school in French lessons, where the teacher insisted we all had French names, and used them within his classroom. Interestingly, despite having a lousy memory, I still recall my name being Andre.

I look forward to reading the replies to this post as to what other people's nicknames have been.

Of course there are people who have given their stomas nicknames and some of them are  revealing and hilarious. 

Best wishes



1. William Pitt . British Prime Minister. He was against taxing America.  2. Sophie Tucker. 3. A singing competition. 4. Abraham Lincoln.
Members of the Mafia have the most hilarious nicknames, Whack Whack for instance. John Gotti was the "Teflon Don", nothing stuck to him. Usually, these names are coined resembling a  particular trait the named one possesses. Have a friend called 'Tinker' who is very aptly named. 'Butch' though, sounds intimidating, brings to mind a rough-and- ready character, a favourite name for dogs that mean business like a Rottweiler or a Doberman.


Hi guys as a kid hanging around the neighborhood with friends we had nicknames for everybody, little art, maugins, boucha, mine was rindu the hindu as i always liked to read and some of us would trade comics, archie, or superman, etc and as soon as i would get some i would sit with legs folded and start reading, my bro was tommy salami.  

Reply to bowsprit

In the U.S., the Great Commoner was William Jennings Bryan, so I guess Pitt was the U.K. version.  The Voice was Frank Sinatra.  I suppose our latest Teflon Don is Trump.  We'll see if some of the Teflon has worn off...   


I never had a nickname...

Reply to HenryM

With so many abrasives being applied it appears, so far,  his Teflon in unscratchable.🥴

Reply to Bill

I guess you could say that Terry is my nickname, as my proper name is Teresa.  My mum said she wanted to give me a name that would give me options.  How considerate is that?  My parents always called me Terry, so that stuck, never did like Teresa anyway.  I had an uncle who started calling me 'chickiepie', which started my dad calling me that too.  I put an end to that when I was about ten years old I think.



I never could understand the Jack for John thing.  They just seem like two different names, and Jack is not a short form of John.  Pretty hard to shorten one syllable.  What is the deal with that anyway?


Reply to SallyK

No problem. We can give you one. How about Sally Starlight?

Reply to delgrl525

Check this out, for what it's worth.

Reply to bowsprit

Ooooh I like that! One of my favourite quotes is by Amanda Gorman 

“There is always light.
Only if we are brave enough to see it.
There is always light.
Only if we are brave enough to be it.”

Reply to HenryM

William Pitt the Elder came before William Jennings Bryan and he was known as The Great Commoner before he accepted the title of The Earl of Chatham removing him from the ranks of the common. Actually, a few have been described by that name including Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln. The latter fully deserves it for he was truly a man of the people.

Reply to bowsprit

As much as I revere Churchill, I would argue that he was no commoner by any measure.  Lincoln, of course, was Lincoln. and, as you say, truly a man of the people. 

Reply to HenryM

Well, interesting to learn that there is some logic behind it.

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